October 21, 2014
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Salzillo Memorial dinner raises nearly $7,000
Albert Salzillo, the late Ricky’s brother, is backed by Steve Placella, Everett Cantagallo, Albert Salzillo, Vincent Vacca and Gene Elderkin, who were all part of Sunday’s event.

What do 283 people, an unusual game dinner and raffle prizes equal?

“This is a great turnout and tribute to Ricky,” said Steven Placella, a Johnston-based attorney who has been organizing the Richard “Ricky” Salzillo Memorial Game Dinner for years. “The day is special. We’ll raise about $7,000.”

The Kelly Gazzerro VFW Post 2812 was overflowing with generous donors Sunday afternoon for the annual event.

Placella, along with Kingstown Liquor Store owners Frank and Nick Fede, put together the fundraiser. The menu began with chili, soup and salad and included pasta with venison meatballs, venison sausage and potato, boar peas, venison meatloaf, venison a la Ralph and rabbit. The meal continued throughout the afternoon with almost as many raffle prizes as there were pieces of Chef Ralph DeFusco’s pasta.

Liquor distributors from all over Rhode Island donated prizes like a Lite Beer swivel bar stool and fire pit, while other raffle items included charcoal grills and a full set of liquors and cordials.

While some of the proceeds will go toward places like the Trudeau Center and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, most of the money will be put into the Richard D. Salzillo Memorial Scholarship Fund that annually awards grants to college-bound seniors from Johnston High School.

The event is named in memory and honor of the late Richard “Ricky” Salzillo, who died at the tender age of 24 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Sun Rise photos by Pete Fontaine

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